Brexit - G&PS External

17 August, 2016

Time has passed since the Brexit vote and tensions have settled down both in the UK and continental Europe. Although uncertainty remains the dominating factor surrounding Brexit and its implementation, following the direction provided by Theresa May, we now know that the UK intends Brexit to be a true exit. Although not yet confirmed, it appears that the article 50 negotiations will begin in early 2017 with an expected 2019 UK departure.

PwC has been working hard in communicating with and listening to our clients, in order to help them assess the impact of Brexit on their business and to begin the lengthy process of adopting strategies to cope both, initially, with the inherent resulting uncertainties and subsequently, with any potential implementation models adopted by the EU and Britain.

No greater impact of the Leave result will be felt than within the industry segment Government & Public Sector. Having had many in-depth discussions with colleagues and academics in and around continental Europe, the overarching sentiment towards the Brexit result remains disappointment, together with continued recognition that in this age of global mobility and digitalization the UK is, and will remain, an integral part of modern Europe despite its status within the Union.

The PwC Government and Public Sector group have been busy exploring key strategic positions in order to better approach the Brexit challenge. Our focus is examining the uncertainty created by the UK to better position our Government and Public Sector clients in a post Brexit environment, as we recognize that with all change comes opportunity.

For PwC Government and Public Sector clients the key strategic positions include:

  • Post Brexit positioning of continental European cities in key industries such as Financial Services, Technology, Pharma, Life Sciences and Public Authorities, together with,
  • Post Brexit EU/UK Trade relationships and frameworks, their negotiation, implementation and resulting Legal and Finance and Taxation impacts.

“Smart Cities” are not only those who have advanced their digital agenda. Smart cities are those who understand how to position themselves to act quickly in order to take advantage of opportunities which present themselves. Whilst London insists its business as usual, rumor has it that the City of Berlin already has a list of around 100 London start-ups which it looks to attract following the Brexit. And this potential is not limited to the startup scene.

Additionally, it is predicted that nearly every Government Department and major state agency will be determining how best to react to the altered European Union, together with the potential need to renegotiate sector by sector trade access to the UK, identification of talent in this area is of key strategic importance. PwC has set up a working group of industry and negotiation experts to assist our clients in these potentially sensitive negotiations.

Irrelevant of which model is adopted (EEA, Free Trade, Bilateral or No Access) we believe that by working together with our clients, PwC with our extensive European network and Public Sector experience are uniquely placed to draw on talent, resources and experience throughout Europe to better and more holistically advise our clients.

Brexit need not fragment European business as it has European citizens. PwC is currently showcasing what European cooperation has and will achieve in order to tailor post Brexit solutions to the exact needs of each and every one of our clients.

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